the full festive week of diwali :
|11 November 2012, Sunday||Dhanteras|
|12 November 2012, Monday||Choti Diwali (Naraka Chaturdashi)|
|13 November 2012, Tuesday||Diwali / Lakshmi Puja|
|14 November 2012, Wednesday||Padwa (Govardhan Puja/Annakoot)|
|15 November 2012, Thursday||Bhaiduj (Yama Dwitiya)|
Another, Ami Bera who grew up Hindu & now identifies as a Unitarian Universalist, holds the advantage in a tight race in a Sacramento area congressional district. In a year where a record number of Hindu Americans ran prominent campaigns, Manan Trivedi of Pennsylvania & Upendra Chivukula of New Jersey came up short.
Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a practicing Hindu of the Vaishnava tradition, campaigned on her experience as a former Honolulu City Councilwoman and Iraq war veteran. Her landslide win was expected as Democratic party's candidate following a primary victory in the Hawaii’s 2nd district in July. She replaces Mazie Hirono, a Buddhist, who subsequently won Hawaii's vacant Senate seat.
"Gabbard is an incredibly inspiring leader whose political rise is a testament to the greatest ideals of American pluralism," said Aseem Shukla, co-founder & Board member of HAF. "That Gabbard won while proudly espousing her Hinduism & voicing a willingness to be a strong voice for Hindu Americans brings over two million Americans into the political landscape for the first time. Her cultural understanding of Hawaii's unique & diverse population, will serve her district's interests well. Bolstering the economy, safeguarding the environment, & supporting Hawaii's heritage of pluralism, we understand, will be top priorities."
Gabbard, of Samoan-American origin, told the Religion News Service that among many issues, she’ll also focus on environmental issues, veteran affairs, & developing relations with India, Hinduism's spiritual homeland. "How can we have a close relationship if decision-makers in Washington know very little, if anything, about the religious beliefs, values, & practices of India's 800 million Hindus?" asked Gabbard.
She also stated her desire to become the first to take her oath of office in January 2013 on the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu holy scripture that inspires a billion people globally.